Lionel Messi will wait till summer to decide Barcelona future

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has revealed he will wait till the end of the season to make a decision on his future at the Spanish side.

Messi was close to leaving the Nou Camp after handing in a transfer request in the summer but he reluctantly decided to stay at the club after Barcelona’s former president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted that Messi’s €700m release clause had to be met for him to leave.

However, the Argentine made some comments during an interview with Spanish TV station La Sexta with could alert potential suitors such as Manchester City, who were heavily linked with a move for the player during his summer of uncertainty.

Messi said: “Nothing will be crystal clear before the end of the year. I’ll wait until the season is over.

“What matters now is thinking about the team, finishing the year well and not being distracted by other things.

“I don’t know what will happen. I’m focused on what we have here and battling for whatever we can.

“I’m not thinking about how the year will end. As of today, it wouldn’t be wise for me to say what I’m going to do because I don’t know.”

While he refused to be drawn on his potential next destination, Messi did speak of his close friendship with Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar and said he would one day like to play in Major League Soccer.

“I’ve always had the dream of playing in another league, in the United States,” he added. “Maybe it will happen, doesn’t have to be right away. Today I am just focused on these next six months.”

Regarding a potential reunion with Neymar at Barcelona, Messi said: “It’ll be difficult to bring in players because the funds aren’t there. We’ll have to bring in plenty of top players to get us competing on all fronts again and they come at a price. Neymar would be extremely expensive.

“How would the club pay PSG for the transfer (of Neymar)? The situation will be tough for the new president, who will have to be intelligent and get everything in order. Changes will be needed for him to do well.

“I don’t know if Neymar said that (that the two would play together next year). You’d have to ask him about what he said. We do chat sometimes and we are in touch.”

Messi also gave his 2 cents on the sale of his former teammate Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid, saying he did not understand how the club could allow the striker to move to one of their main rivals.

He said: “What they did seemed crazy to me, because of how he left. He left for free, paying him his contract and a team that fights for the same thing as us.”

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